How to cool the planet, feed the world, and live happily ever after.
Directed by John Feldman
Produced by Susan Davies
Executive Producer: Regge Life, Global Film Network
Writer, Camera, Editor: John Feldman
Associate Editor: Ann Tegnell
Music Composition: Sheila Silver
Graphic Design: Guido Alvarez
Microcinematography: Rubén Duro Pérez, Science into Images
Narrator: John Feldman
A Hummingbird Films Production
[Note: Community screenings of REGENERATING LIFE can be booked at Bullfrog Communities.]
[A] masterpiece...he puts life...center-stage as the Earth's extraordinary global-temperature regulator." Peter Bunyard, author "Extreme Weather"
Building on his ground-breaking SYMBIOTIC EARTH John Feldman's new film, REGENERATING LIFE, takes an ecological approach to unraveling the climate crisis. It offers a deeper look at the underlying causes of global warming, going beyond carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels to humankind's relentless destruction of nature in all corners of Earth. Because ultimately it is nature—the vast biodiversity that exists on our planet—that regulates and balances Earth's climate.
Feldman explores how life regulates the climate through photosynthesis and the carbon cycle; the water cycle; the dung cycle; and a vast interconnected soil network of fungi, microorganisms, and plant roots. He dives into the economic and political systems that have encouraged this destruction of Earth through the relentless quest for wealth and dominion.
We can reverse this destructive process by regenerating life across the planet. Feldman visits people who are working on solutions. By working with nature, they are restoring forests, fields, wetlands, and oceans. They are regenerating soils to grow healthy food and build healthy communities, pointing the way to long term solutions to the climate crisis.
REGENERATING LIFE is divided into 3 parts:
1. Water Cools the Planet
2. Life Sustains the Climate
3. Small Farms Feed the World
Grade Level: 10 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2023
Copyright Date: 2023
DVD ISBN: 1-961192-04-7
"A very compelling lesson - that Nature can help us solve our climate problems if we give her a chance - is embedded throughout this remarkable film. The solution lies not in any expansion of industrial agriculture or Green Revolutions, but rather in nurturing small local farming communities by which most of global food is grown more productively than by any of these corporate farms. Nature's solution is to readily regenerate and protect our lands and soils. Regenerating Life unfolds a complex, multidimensional story in an accessible way."
Fred Jennings, Ecological Economist, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
"John Feldman's film is a masterpiece in which he puts life, in terms of healthy ecosystems, center-stage as the Earth's extraordinary global-temperature regulator...He offers hope, showing, on the one hand, landscapes that have been shorn of trees, of bare, lifeless soils which for years have been ravaged by industrialized farming, and on the other, in sharp contrast, farms and gardens where the practitioners have regenerated living, healthy soils, capable of supporting a rich diversity of plants and animals...Regenerating Life is a wake-up call for action to save the planet and ourselves from needless destruction."
Peter Bunyard, Author, Extreme Weather: The Cataclysmic Effects of Climate Change
"A reminder to go back to the basics! Regenerating Life is a call to action to replace life-destroying economic and political systems with ones that seek to rebuild the soil, safeguard water sources, and protect the biodiversity on the planet."
Alberto Arenas, Professor of Environmental and Sustainability Education, University of Arizona, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Environmental Education
"If you are environmentally conscious but harbor doubts about the current global warming narrative, Regenerating Life is an axis-shifting film that re-frames this complex issue."
Perry Marshall, Author, Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design
"Vivid and provocative...Across the planet, concrete, asphalt, dead land, and bare ground now bake in the sun rather than absorb solar heat into cool and moist natural growth. For centuries now, human practices accelerated by colonialism and capitalism have been destroying the buffering and recycling provided by rich biodiverse landscapes. Feldman's documentary showcases and celebrates an active network of farmers and land restorers, who are bringing damaged portions of the biosphere back to life. They are - Regenerating Life."
Bruce Clarke, Professor of Literature and Science, Texas Tech University
"Regenerating Life places the Climate Crisis squarely in the biosphere, where it has always belonged. John Feldman articulates clearly why realistic solutions to global warming lie in cooperating with Nature, not in misguided attempts to impose an artificial order upon the planet."
James Shapiro, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology, University of Chicago
"This film traces the vital roles that water, soil, forests, and farmlands play in regulating the global climate. Covering a vast expanse of philosophical and scientific ground, it identifies our broken relationship with the ecosystems we inhabit as the root of the problem. Students and other interested viewers will come away discussing the underlying causes of the climate crisis as well as possible solutions."
Anna J. Willow, Professor of Anthropology, The Ohio State University, Author, Understanding ExtrACTIVISM: Culture and Power in Natural Resource Disputes
"Regenerating Life is part science class, part expose on the complex nature of the climate crisis, and part call to action. This film shows what humanity is facing if we do not have a foundational course correction. Woven throughout is the simplicity of the solution - we must return our aspirations, ambitions, and attention to caring for all of life. We've been gone too long, and this film will leave you valuing even the tiniest ecosystem dynamics."
Jason Gerhardt, Co-Director, Permaculture Institute, Founder, Real Earth Design
"An important/crucial wake up call for received ecological wisdom, including the causes of climate change and the would-be relative innocuousness of profit-driven agriculture...The road to diverse, sustainable ecosystem-conscious farming is shown - ways leading away from short-term poisoning and long term collapse."
Dorion Sagan, co-author, Gaia and Philosophy
"Regenerating Life offers a fresh take on the global climate crisis, and on nature-based solutions that can revitalize our human and natural communities. The film shows how, by working with and within the Earth's interconnected biological systems, we may simultaneously enhance climate resilience, restore biodiversity, and foster community health and well-being."
Curt Meine, Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation and Center for Humans and Nature, Author, Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work
"Climate change is a complex issue, rooted in the unsustainable practices of modern society and the neglect of traditional ecological knowledge. Regenerating Life explores how the restoration of soil can lead to a healthier ecosystem. By shifting from destructive extraction (capitalism) to nurturing regeneration and embracing the knowledge and practices of indigenous and local communities, the documentary illustrates a hopeful path towards environmental recovery."
Dr. J. Pablo Ortiz-Partida, Senior Bilingual Climate and Water Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists
"Regenerating Life takes an ecological approach to unpacking the social and environmental crises that confront us, challenging the prevailing climate change story, and offering new, attainable solutions."
"Visually sumptuous...A film of affirmation. And what it affirms, over and over, is life, not only the wonder of it but the power of it to heal our broken climate...There is something wild and beautiful at its heart. It's a force with its own will. And if you allow yourself, it will fill you with awe and even hope."
Rob Lewis, Author, The Silence of Vanishing Things, Resilience.org
"As a community educator who routinely engages the public on climate change and how to deal with the big, tough emotions it can cause, I love how this film both informs and empowers viewers."
Rebecca Lexa, Naturalist
"A powerfully engaging film that has the potential to radically shift our conventional, reductionist approaches to climate change that treats the problem only symptomatically. Feldman brings engrossing explanations of the root causes of our climate crisis. The narrative showcases deep conversations with scientists, ecologists, farmers, and activists around the world looking for holistic solutions through regenerative agriculture as an 'existential necessity' and people's community efforts. The film will initiate vibrant discussions for students, policy makers, scientists, community organizers, and anyone interested in finding simple, tangible solutions to a global crisis that could ensure justice, equality, and freedom for all."
Bidisha Mallik, Assistant Teaching Professor of Global Ethics, University of Washington-Tacoma
DVDs include public performance rights.
DVD includes 10 one-minute video extras; optional "bleeped" audio track; optional English SDH captions; and subtitle options including French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Host a community screening
Awards and Festivals
Bioneers Annual Conference
Climate Change/Global Warming
Forests and Rainforests
Explores the life and ideas of Lynn Margulis, a scientific rebel who challenged entrenched theories of evolution to present a new narrative: life evolves through collaboration.
DIRT! The Movie
The story of Earth's most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility, from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.
A portrait of James Lovelock, originator of the theory that the earth is a self-regulating system maintaining the conditions that allow its perpetuation.
Reflection: a walk with water
Filmmaker Emmett Brennan walks the length of the Los Angeles aqueduct in search of a vision for humanity worth living for - what he discovers has everything to do with water.
The Matrix of Life
Suzuki travels the world exploring our intimate relationship with water and air.
Journey of the Blob
An illustration of the water cycle in a cautionary tale about pollution.
How to Let Go of the World
Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox contemplates our climate-change future by exploring the human qualities that global warming can't destroy.
An Ecology of Mind
A daughter's loving film portrait of one of the 20th century's most influential thinkers, Gregory Bateson, anthropologist, systems theorist and ecologist.
2-part series based on the book Biomimicry - a new science that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems.
Crossing the Stones
An intimate biography of the Norwegian founder of deep ecology.
Suzuki explores biophilia -- the innate, hereditary need of human beings to affiliate with nature.
A design revolution that connects buildings to the natural world, buildings where people feel and perform better.
Putting the role of human beings in the biosphere back into proper perspective.
Force Of Nature
Inspirational distillation of the life, thoughts and legacy of famed Canadian scientist, broadcaster and activist, David Suzuki.
... more Reviews
"A necessary and important film that highlights the importance of small food producers as possibly the most powerful counter to the climate crisis. Regenerating Life counters our narratives of despair and hopelessness and illustrates the numerous, diverse and exciting collaborative solutions being worked out the world over."
Paul Stock, Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies, University of Kansas, Author, New Farmers